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Quality of SCEA Certificate Disappoints

Peter Pilgrim
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Posts: 21
Hello

I received my certificate pack yesterday, which was great. It contained the SCEA badge pin, Sun Certified Professional identity card, letter and the certificate, but I was really disappointed with the postage packing and quality of the certificate.

First, the postage package was not good, because it was sent inside bubble wrap envelope. The certificate was not completely protected, because the studs of badge pin actually imprinted on to the certificate paper. Second the quality of the certificate itself was distinctly poor.

The certificate arrived creased slightly, because it was folded onto underside of the protective card during shipping. The quality of the certificate should have been much better for SCEA exams for all the effort we have put into the studies. I know for the beta program we did not to pay for the exams (does this mean proper SCEA participant will receive better certificates than the beta participants?)

Apart from the dark teal header, which says "Sun(tm) Certification).", the Java Logo is monotone. The backing paper is just ordinary weighted white paper (100 / 120 gsm?). The signatures of the Jonathan Schwartz and Karie Willyerd are all ok. The spacing of the text is ok, but sorry I cannot help to feel a little sorry for the BETA certificate that we have all received.

When I compare this certificate to others that I have seen it looks distinctly bland. Some educational certificates are printed on metallic almost crystal paper card. The actual logo or exam body of those types of certificates denotes instantly a higher quality, an accreditation from a higher institution, the lettering also on those are often printed as reflective silver ink. Sometimes the educational title is also embossed/beveled on the certificate so that the certification/grade stands out.

In conclusion, I am rather annoyed that the certificate is not suitable for frame in my office, at least. Can this situation be rectified?


(*) I would have loved to have seen the Java Logo printed on such metallic paper.

(*) I would love to see the Sun printed bevel in metallic silver ink.

(*) I would also love to see a full official Java logo embossed in to the card.

Most definitely, the actual wording of "Peter A Pilgrim" and "Sun Certified Enterprise Architect" should have been printed as silver embossed ink.

Finally, because I do not mind at all paying for it, is there any way of buying a better quality certificate?

Thanks in advance

(CC'd to who2contact@sun.com)


--<br />[bold]Peter Pilgrim[/bold]<br />Java EE Developer, Designer and Architect<br/>Oracle Java Champion<br /><a href="http://jroller.com/peter_pilgrim" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://jroller.com/peter_pilgrim</a>
Peter Pilgrim
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Posts: 21
BUT KEEP THIS THREAD THOUGH.
Sorry my Firefox browser crashed.

Originally posted by Peter Pilgrim:
Hello

I received my certificate pack yesterday, which was great. It contained the SCEA badge pin, Sun Certified Professional identity card, letter and the certificate, but I was really disappointed with the postage packing and quality of the certificate.
==////==
Finally, because I do not mind at all paying for it, is there any way of buying a better quality certificate?

Thanks in advance

(CC'd to who2contact@sun.com)
Narendra Dhande
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2004
Posts: 950
Hi,

Last week I received the SCBCD certification kit. The quality of this certificate is too bad compare to previous certificates I received from sun. No embossing of logo on it.

Thanks


Narendra Dhande
SCJP 1.4,SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 5.0, SCDJWS 5.0, SCEA 5.0
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Please. If only the worst problem any of us in the world had was the "quality " of the certificate.

Be grateful that we get certificates - MS only gives you one for the first certification of a given level that you pass, and IBM doesn't give you any anymore (afaik), but rather both companies expect you to print out certificates if you want them.


Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Hong Anderson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 1936
I don't care about certificate much.

I think if we want high quality certificate so badly we can make it ourselves by graphic editing application and print using high quality paper, I don't think Sun'll sue us .


SCJA 1.0, SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCJP 5.0, SCEA 5, SCBCD 5; OCUP - Fundamental, Intermediate and Advanced; IBM Certified Solution Designer - OOAD, vUML 2; SpringSource Certified Spring Professional
Hafizur Rahman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2002
Posts: 98
Certificate as a paper does not hold any real value, from my point of view. If industry does really value the recognition, a plain paper is enough. Is not it?


SCJP 2(94%), SCBCD 5.0(86%), SCDJWS(86%), SCEA 5 (I-73%, II/III-88%)
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. - Alvin Toffler
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
I think its because they are all made in China and the newest certificates are just not as good compared to the old ones, the ones I received one 2003 have silver seal and the jCert logo on them where as the ones now only have a Java logo.

is the one you received for SCEA5?
[ March 05, 2008: Message edited by: Billy Tsai ]

BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
jeremias lacanienta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 60
Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
I think its because they are all made in China and the newest certificates are just not as good compared to the old ones, the ones I received one 2003 have silver seal and the jCert logo on them where as the ones now only have a Java logo.

is the one you received for SCEA5?

[ March 05, 2008: Message edited by: Billy Tsai ]


our certs came from china? i just hope they don't contain lead. i forgot to wash my hands when i touched them.



jeremias lacanienta<br />scea5/scwcd1.4/scwcd/scmad/scjp1.4/scjp1.1/scja/rhcja
Peter Pilgrim
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Posts: 21
Originally posted by Theodore Casser:
Please. If only the worst problem any of us in the world had was the "quality " of the certificate.

Be grateful that we get certificates - MS only gives you one for the first certification of a given level that you pass, and IBM doesn't give you any anymore (afaik), but rather both companies expect you to print out certificates if you want them.


Fine. I can accept the paper certificate, but we should be given the option of paying for a better quality certificate for the SCEA (the highest Sun Java certification)

So do you have a degree from a college or a university?
Have study for a foreign language after a college or obtain adult learning credentials?
If yes, then what are the types of certificates of those credentials?
Peter Pilgrim
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Posts: 21
Originally posted by jeremias lacanienta:


our certs came from china? i just hope they don't contain lead. i forgot to wash my hands when i touched them.



Obviously the question is, how does one actually qualify the SCEA 5 exam. If one values it greatly and gracious enough then, probably, one might like to display a better certificate.

Why do dentist and medical practitioner display their certificates to customers? Why can't we as Java enterprise architects do the same?
[ March 06, 2008: Message edited by: Peter Pilgrim ]
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Originally posted by Peter Pilgrim:


Fine. I can accept the paper certificate, but we should be given the option of paying for a better quality certificate for the SCEA (the highest Sun Java certification)

So do you have a degree from a college or a university?
Have study for a foreign language after a college or obtain adult learning credentials?
If yes, then what are the types of certificates of those credentials?

Not your business if I have any further degrees.
That said, I don't display any of my credentials at my office or cube at my client site (I carry my cards instead). For a while, I had my certificates up in my home office, but I found it kind of silly after a while and took them down. They're nice to have, but I found that actually having them out on constant display was a bit... arrogant.
Obviously the question is, how does one actually qualify the SCEA 5 exam. If one values it greatly and gracious enough then, probably, one might like to display a better certificate.

Why do dentist and medical practitioner display their certificates to customers? Why can't we as Java enterprise architects do the same?

I think it's dangerous to equate a doctor/lawyer showing their 'certificates' to a software designer doing such. Doctors and dentists do such to reassure on the basis of where they went to school. Lawyers display (usually) the certificates for what courts they may plead before. (I'm the son of an attorney - heaven knows I spent enough time in my dad's office staring at his array of such.) However, both of these professions are also required to be licensed by their state/provincial/national bodies (I know that where I live, it's a crime to present oneself as a doctor/lawyer if one is not), and the documentation they display is oftentimes proof of such. Software professionals are not, as of yet, required to do the same.
Jeff Walker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2004
Posts: 116
Originally posted by Theodore Casser:

I think it's dangerous to equate a doctor/lawyer showing their 'certificates' to a software designer doing such. Doctors and dentists do such to reassure on the basis of where they went to school. Lawyers display (usually) the certificates for what courts they may plead before. (I'm the son of an attorney - heaven knows I spent enough time in my dad's office staring at his array of such.) However, both of these professions are also required to be licensed by their state/provincial/national bodies (I know that where I live, it's a crime to present oneself as a doctor/lawyer if one is not), and the documentation they display is oftentimes proof of such. Software professionals are not, as of yet, required to do the same.
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

Why not go to the local print shop and design your own certificate?

Seriously, if you want something that looks great in your office, design it yourself and get a printer to print it out. Nobody would ever know that it wasn't directly from Sun, and it's not like you're faking credentials.

When I got the certificate, it put a big, big, big smile on my face, and then it went in a filing cabinet. But the paper doesn't mean that much to me.

-Cameron McKenzie
Jeff Walker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2004
Posts: 116
Originally posted by Theodore Casser:

I think it's dangerous to equate a doctor/lawyer showing their 'certificates' to a software designer doing such. Doctors and dentists do such to reassure on the basis of where they went to school. Lawyers display (usually) the certificates for what courts they may plead before. (I'm the son of an attorney - heaven knows I spent enough time in my dad's office staring at his array of such.) However, both of these professions are also required to be licensed by their state/provincial/national bodies (I know that where I live, it's a crime to present oneself as a doctor/lawyer if one is not), and the documentation they display is oftentimes proof of such. Software professionals are not, as of yet, required to do the same.



Isn't that the crux of the whole certificate problem, really?
1. We earn certs from some company (not a state/provincal body) and they last about 12 months before they are obsolete.

2. Should I get my cert from Sun? Perhaps IBM's cert is 'better'? Can they easily be compared?

3. We NEED a governing body to license s/w engineers and s/w architects nationally. University degrees don't pass muster. They are too theoretical. Which is why I'm guessing there are Law degrees offered at accredited institutions, and then there are state run licensing bodies for lawyers. (There maybe an historical throwback here. Perhaps civil engineering is a better example profession of the kind of licensing system we need).

4. I don't care if the cert itself is poor in quality. Sun is merely saving money here on cheaply printed certifications, and making money from what will be obsolete technology in about 12 months anyway. Don't expect your precious cert to last much more than that. Soon there will be an SCEA 6 exam. Will you update your cert and take those exams too?
-jeff
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Originally posted by Jeff Walker:
Isn't that the crux of the whole certificate problem, really?

Don't really know if it's quite the 'crux' of the issue. But...
1. We earn certs from some company (not a state/provincal body) and they last about 12 months before they are obsolete.

Depends on the certification and the underlying technology. MS's tech tends to go three years between revisions. Sun's goal, iirc, is about 18 months or so between releases. Plus, there's the lag time in adoption - I know companies that are still using J2SE 1.4 - so the certs are valid for about as long as they're useful, rather than '12 months before being obsolete'.
2. Should I get my cert from Sun? Perhaps IBM's cert is 'better'? Can they easily be compared?

Depends on the certification, on the underlying software, and the one doing the evaluation. I don't know that IBM has a certification that's substantially similar to SCEA, for instance, and they do not have a Java programmer certification that is equivalent to SCJP.
3. We NEED a governing body to license s/w engineers and s/w architects nationally. University degrees don't pass muster. They are too theoretical. Which is why I'm guessing there are Law degrees offered at accredited institutions, and then there are state run licensing bodies for lawyers. (There maybe an historical throwback here. Perhaps civil engineering is a better example profession of the kind of licensing system we need).

We don't need anything. I think that some kind of licensing commission might be advantageous at some point, but there's hardly the mortal danger posed to the public by unskilled programmers as there is by untrained physicians or attorneys.
The historical throwback is that there used to be a second route in many areas - you could apprentice yourself to a doctor or lawyer, rather than attending the appropriate school. I think there is still a state of the US that allows apprenticing as an alternative taking the bar exam.
4. I don't care if the cert itself is poor in quality. Sun is merely saving money here on cheaply printed certifications, and making money from what will be obsolete technology in about 12 months anyway. Don't expect your precious cert to last much more than that. Soon there will be an SCEA 6 exam. Will you update your cert and take those exams too?

Then don't take the certification if that's how you feel. It sounds a little bit to me like bitter grapes. Phrases like 'your precious cert' just smack of a smidgen of misplaced anger about the entire process, and it leads me to wonder just why you feel some need to comment on this topic when you obviously think so poorly of it to begin with.
As for a 'SCEA 6' - it's taken them this long to update the SCEA for the new version of the technology. At the moment, Sun's not even predicting the final spec for Java EE 6 until the fourth quarter of this year, and I wouldn't be shocked to see it pushed into 2009. I don't think they're going to update it as swiftly as you think, but I don't think you care what I think.
Peter Pilgrim
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Posts: 21
An Update

I got reply from Gary Fluitt, Certification Manager, Sun Microsystems

He apologise for the quality of the certificate, at least the way it was sent. He said that he had not heard of this complaint before. He pointed that Sun got the opposite treatment, because people expressed environment concerns about shipping paper certificatates around the world.

I tend to agreed him, admittedly. This is view that I had not considered at all and I take it all back critising Sun on this regard.


Gary posed the question that the solution that probably Sun will proceed with, is to send an electronic certificate in PDF format by email to the future candidates at the conclusion of their tests. (NB: This is not yet set in stone).

Now here is an idea that I totally agree with, because it gives the candidate the option of paying for a delux edition.

Gary suggested that inside the email, a candidate would find an URL where they could order high resolution certificate with an gold foil embossed seal on heavy card stock print. So candidates woul be able to get a high quality certificates. Finally he suggested that he may make the nominal cost of the deluxe certificate free-of-charge to newly qualified enterprise architects. This program go live in the Summer months of 2008.

Laters!

Morten Franorge
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2005
Posts: 137
Mine actually contained two letters, one congratulating me "on becoming a Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition" and mentioned J2EE several times.

Seems strange, after Sun has been so careful to talk about JEE the last couple of years.


SCJP 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCBCD 5.0, SCEA J2EE, SCEA 5.0
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
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